Auger 'Thunderball' Bond girl, dies aged 78

Thunderball made her name as the first French 'Bond Girl'

French actress Claudine Auger, best known to international audiences playing alongside Sean Connery in the 1965 James Bond film "Thunderball", has died aged 78, her agent said Thursday.

She died in Paris, the Time Art agency announced.

Born in April 1941 in Paris, Auger began her career as a model and represented France at the 1958 Miss World competition.

On the side she was taking acting lessons, winning small cinema parts to gradually earn a reputation as an actress in France, including the 1962 Three Musketeers film "The Iron Mask".

But it was Thunderball that made her name as the first French "Bond Girl".

The film's trailer introduced Auger as: "Young. Beautiful. Trapped. Could be dangerous".

She played the character "Domino" in the film, the fourth in the Bond franchise, which was set in the Bahamas providing ample opportunity for swimsuit action scenes.

In a 1965 television interview, she said starring alongside 007 or "playing Moliere" was "a game, the same thing".

After the 1960s, Auger continued her acting career in French film and television.